The bishops' war

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Bishop David Zubik's Sunday Forum article last week could not be more ironic ("Avoid an Election Hangover: We Should Re-examine Our Own Beliefs and How We Disagree," Nov. 11). Whose hangover is he referring to? His own?

National statistics show that Catholics still voted for the president by a 50-48 edge in 2012, only slightly lower than the 54 percent who supported him in 2008. This result came despite Bishop Zubik (and other prominent U.S. bishops) spending the last two years with their thumbs on the scale campaigning for the GOP, as they led the opposition to the "war on religious freedom."

Of the many coded messages in the campaign, this soundbite was the bishops' reaction to the incomplete waiver of exemption for religious organizations on paying for contraception in the Affordable Care Act, yet it was packaged as if there were intentions of restricting anyone's practice of religion.

Buried in the data is the more direct effect of Bishop Zubik's war on Obamacare. White Catholics' support in the 2012 election for the president decreased from 47 to 40 percent, and Hispanic Catholic support increased from 72 to 75 percent. There is much postelection talk on the GOP's need to change and modernize. This same message should be heard by the U.S. bishops. Will all Catholics be Episcopalian by the time they get the message?

In the end, I voted with a clear conscience as a Catholic in supporting my own religious freedom. This freedom, given to me by God, allows me to make my own choices. If in the future my God asks why I voted in this way, I will reply "because you loved me enough to let me do so."

SCOTT MATTHEWS
Point Breeze


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